Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cocobolo Candlestick Holder

I had a chunk of cocobolo left over from my other projects. Too short for a pen, too nice for the trash, I was determined to find a use for it.

As I was digging through the "box'o'candles" (everybody's wife has one of those, right?) I found a seriously fugly rocking horse candlestick holder. It was plated pot metal, with a screwed on candle cup sticking out of the top. It was plated with a gold color that was partly worn. It really looked crappy.

I removed the cup from the rocking horse and chucked it in my lathe. The cup was pressed steel, and had pressure ridges, scratches, etc. I sanded it to 2000 grit paper to get it smooth, then hit it with the buffer and white diamond compound. Polished steel looks much better than cheap "gold" plating.

I chucked the chunk of cocobolo and turned the simple shape shown in the photo. Sanded to 800 grit and applied two coats of thin (1# cut) shellac followed by a couple coats of Hut's Crystal Coat.

A note about Crystal Coat. It's crap. It can add a nice deep shine to your turning, but durable it isn't. Just removing the piece from the lathe can dull the finish! I left this piece on the lathe for an hour before removing it to drill the hole for the steel cup's mounting screw. I still ended up marring the finish. Once I had the hole drilled and the screw run through a couple times so it would go easy later, I re-mounted it on the lathe and applied another coat of the finish.

I left it on the lathe overnight before taking it off and mounting the cup. I then immediately placed it on the shelf in the living room where it sat for a week before I had the courage to take it down again to photograph it.

I have no experience with other friction polishes, but Hut's Crystal Coat isn't worth the bottle it's sold in, unless all you're going to do is take pictures of your work.

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